You may remember that I wrote about The Li’l Depressed Boy – Lonely Heart Blues way back in April. What you probably didn’t know is that I had the spark of an idea while I was reading it that would eventually grow in to this little post. If you didn’t already know, I write for more than just our little corner of the web. I also opine on music at 9 Bullets and that is relevant because the idea that formed in my tiny little mind and has been percolating ever since was to do soundtrack posts for graphic novels. Honestly The Li’l Depressed Boy is sort of cheating, as evidenced by this panel:
No matter how much I feel like it’s cheating I am damn proud of the soundtrack I came up for this book! Now since I could go on and on about mix tapes, which is what this really is, (I once wrote a diatribe on how digital music has killed the real art in making mix tapes) I’ll just give you the music and let you run with it. You should have a copy of the book (it’s only 6.99 for the digital version) handy and just let this play as you read though…
In this month’s installment of Interviews With The Industry I, Romeo Sid Vicious, tracked down Jim Zub, one of my favorite writers, and he graciously agreed to let me interview him. As far as reaching out to fans goes Jim is leaps and bounds ahead of most.
Jim Zub is a writer, artist and art instructor based in Toronto, Canada. Over the past ten years he’s worked for a diverse array of publishing, movie and video game clients including Disney, Warner Bros., Capcom, Hasbro, Bandai-Namco and Mattel.
The first issue of Harvest is, for me, a pretty terrifying book. Not because of the urban-legend-esque black market organ trade but rather because of the way Ben, our main character becomes involved. You see Ben is a man with problems: booze, drugs, and hookers from what we are shown so far. Ben is also a doctor. When these two aspects meet it’s not pretty and Ben ends up in a situation where the amount of control he has over his life is very, very slim. And folks, that’s where it gets scary to me. You see one of my biggest fears has always been having to choose between putting food on the table and living within the law. I share that with you only to say that the writing in this book is so good that I haven’t been able to shake that aspect of the story since I finished it! While most folks don’t have the same problems Ben has, they can easily imagine themselves having to make similar choices and Lieberman’s writing is so visceral that I couldn’t help being a little terrified! Continue reading
This series, this four issue series from Image, is currently the thing I look forward to the most in the world of comics! Kurtis Wiebe just keeps blowing my mind with every issue of this story and as far as I am concerned Aluísio Santos has drawn the best panel for the entire month of July and possibly one of the best panels of all time. Looking back I can’t believe that I totally dropped the ball on covering issue #2 of this. I must’ve picked the wrong day to stop smoking crack, or something! Anyway we are now graced with book 3 of this amazing series with Lou and Ella all atwitter over one another but there’s that nagging little problem of both of them being killed in marvelous ways and having to find each other again… Continue reading
What is that you say? Another Kurt Weibe title from Image, two in the same week, reviewed by the same guy? In short, yes! That’s exactly what Debris #1 is, however this review might not be what you’d expect. In the interest of being off book to start with I’ll just sum up everything I am about to write: I was underwhelmed by this one. It actually feels good to get that off my chest from the start! I am usually a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, end of the world survival stories, and interesting world development but so far Debris hasn’t really grabbed my story-wise. As you might have seen over my past few reviews I am a huge Weibe fan so when Debris was announced I was pretty stoked. Now my disappointment in this could be simply because Peter Panzerfaust and Grim Leaper are so far above what most writers are doing these that I expected more of the same and if that’s the case then I am probably doing Debris a disservice but I asked for this write-up so here it goes. Continue reading
One of my favorite lyrics of all time is from Minor Threat’s “Minor Threat”: I might be an adult, but I’m a minor at heart. While I have all the qualities of an adult including age and responsibilities, I am truly still a child at heart. My toys may cost a little more and my entertainment has come of age in some ways but in every way possible I am still a child. If you deduce from this that I have a bit of Peter Pan in me then you’d be right. Peter Pan is one of my favorite characters of all time. I have read so many re-imaginings including the children’s series Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. So when I found out that Image had started putting out a re-imagining and that it was Kurtis J. Wiebe I was ecstatic. (You may remember when I discovered Wiebe through Grim Leaper.) With much excitement I picked up all the issues of Peter Panzerfaust that I had missed and before the first issue was done I had already decided that this gem was a permanent addition to my pull list.
First and foremost there is nothing not to like about this series. How can you go wrong with Nazis as the bad guys getting their collective arse handed to them by, for all intents and purposes, Peter-Frickin’-Pan! That said you’ll have to leave your preconceived notions about Peter and the Lost Boys at the door because Wiebe doesn’t constrain himself to convention here, well at least not to Disney’s convention. In Wiebe’s tale Peter is an American do-gooder type who rescues some young French boys during the Nazi sack of Calais. The Great Escape story arc is about said rescue and the subsequent trials and tribulations in Peter and the boys flight across France in an attempt to get to Paris. This is not an innocent telling of Peter Pan and you get to see the consequences of Panzerfaust’s decisions and the effect that that has on his charges. Being a re-imagining there is a background comfort level that could have easily been ripped away by a lesser write but Wiebe manages to pull off keeping the character familiar while completely changing everything about the story. This, in my not so humble opinion, speaks to the strength of the writer.
Now that you know the story is strong I want to sing the praises of Tyler Jenkins, the man who brings this world and these characters to life. I can’t decide whether the art is understated and genius in that or that the sharp contrasts with an almost monochromatic theme makes it jump off the page. I have tried to figure out a way to describe it but all them seem to fall short. First and foremost the art is, frankly, genius regardless of how else it is described. Art can make or break a book and Jenkins’ art absolutely makes this book. This Wiebe and Jenkins combo is a complete winner. Be it an idyllic field or Nazis getting their arses kicked, Jenkins completely takes it to the next level. I could repeat myself over and over with different words but the reality is that you need to pick up this trade, when comes out in early August, or the single issues (#5 comes out this week) and get it in front of your own eyes!
Since the last book in this arc hasn’t actually come out yet I can’t speak to any closure or wrap up in this review but I can tell you that if Wiebe and Jenkins continue down the same path that they have taken so far then this will be an amazing wrap up to one my favorite storylines this year. There are a lot of worse ways to spend your money and as far great stories go, this one is only 4 or 5 issues in, depending on when you read it, and it’s a really good read. Go dig in the couch cushions and get together a couple of bucks and go grab the first issue of the next addition to your pull list!
~ Romeo Sid Vicious ~
These days I am pretty sure that Image is my favorite comic book publisher. This month they gave me yet another new book that I really, really like! Grim Leaper is a twisted, dark, funny, and visceral love story (maybe) written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, who apparently has the best timing in the world when it comes to writing a book like this. There’s really nothing to compare this one to as the concept is, as far as I can tell, pretty darn original. We are introduced to Lou Collins, though not by name yet, at a funeral which turns out to be his own. Wiebe gives us a little nod to Wedding Crashers and by having Lou try to pick up a chick at his own funeral, then walks him out of the funeral and decapitates him on page 7! What a way to start a comic.
Long story short Lou gets killed pretty much every day only to wake up in a new and different body belonging to someone else in his hometown. This poor slob has no idea why or how this is happening, he doesn’t know what happens to the people he takes over. There’s no rhyme or reason and to be honest it’s pretty bleak but somehow Wiebe manages to insert a snarky humor in to the narrative that really makes this a choice book. I can’t believe that I am going to say this but Wiebe manages to take a fairly gory and dark book and makes it fun! I was amused from the point I figured out what was going on until the end of the book. Oh yeah and for good measure Weibe tosses in a love interest in the final pages. What’s not to love?
Aluisio Santos is the one responsible for the smirks and gouting blood and does a marvelous job of it. Choosing a style that isn’t really all that dark and almost feels cartoon-ish, Santos carries this book in the quirky fun vibe that Wiebe creates in the dialogue. This pairing, Wiebe and Santos, really works well for this book. I wasn’t aware you could make a grisly depressing story in to a whimsical read but somehow that’s what these guys do. I almost felt like I was reading a John Hughes story if Hughes had written his quintessential films as a team effort with Quentin Tarantino. In short I loved it. If you like your love stories with a little bit of gore on the side then you should add this four issue mini-series to your pull list immediately!
~ Romeo sid Vicious ~